Age Exchange launches visionary creative support for people with dementia

The South London-based arts charity has piloted a successful programme using Reminiscence Arts that has been proven to improve the lives of people with dementia.

This week Age Exchange will be launching a new exciting UK wide dementia service at The King’s Fund on 21st January 2014.

Building on over 30 years of work in community arts with older people, Age Exchange’s RADIQL model for working with people living with dementia, will be launched at The King’s Fund with Dame Eillen Sills, Chief Nurse and Director of Patient Experience, Guy’s and St. Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust.

In the UK there are over 850,000 people living with dementia, which can present in a variety of ways including memory loss and confusion. RADIQL is part of a two year pilot funded by Guys and St Thomas’ Charity bringing together innovative creative arts to support people with dementia helping them access their long term memories to support their daily lives.
The pilot project has been independently assessed by Royal Holloway University of London and has been proven to provide positive results for those living with dementia, their carers, and staff working in care homes.

Moira is a full time carer from South East London whose mum Floss was diagnosed with dementia and was bed bound after a stroke and suffered significant problems with her memory and recall. Floss and Moira have been attending one of Age Exchange’s specialist dementia support sessions, every week and seen a dramatic improvement in Floss’ wellbeing.

Talking about the change and massive impact Age Exchange’s dementia service has had on Floss Moira said,

“I didn’t know what to do when mum lost her memory. I thought we had lost her, before we started with the Age Exchange we were isolated and lonely – these sessions have helped mum develop relationships outside, with her grandson, my nephew. Age Exchange has changed our life for the better “

Age Exchange Chief Executive Rebecca Packwood said

“RADIQL has been proven to improve the quality of life and the quality of care for older people living with dementia. The results we have seen show that investing in high quality interventions has a positive impact on well-being this will be welcome news for all of those relatives and friends who want a better life for loved ones living with dementia.
We are really pleased that we now have evidence that our person centred intervention of reminiscence accompanied with the arts has a measurable impact on well-being on people living with dementia. This opens the doors to providing better care and a better quality of life.”

Nicola Crane, Head of Arts Strategy at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity, said:

“Our experience in supporting local healthcare tells us that arts can be a powerful intervention and can have a profound impact on the wellbeing of those living with long term conditions. We’re delighted that the results of this pilot support that thinking too.

At Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity, we work to ensure that the projects we fund can offer viable solutions to health and healthcare challenges. It’s great to see that this practical model of supporting people to live well with dementia not only helped people locally but is now being launched nationally too.”

If you would like more information on RADIQL launch event